Entry into force of the main ILO conventions on forced labor and freedom of association (Ministry of Labour)

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(Yonhap)

Three key International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions that prohibit forced labor and guarantee freedom of association entered into force on Wednesday, a year after South Korea completed the ratification process, the ministry said. work.

Conventions – No. 29 on forced labour, No. 87 on freedom of association and protection of the right to organize and No. 98 on the right to organize and collective bargaining – will henceforth have the same legal status as national laws, according to the ministry.

The implementation is not expected to bring much change as the country has amended related labor laws, including the Trade Unions and Labor Relations Adjustment Act and the Establishment and the functioning of the teachers’ unions, in accordance with the agreements in July last year. .

But observers say confusion could arise over the differences between national laws and ILO conventions.

Revised labor laws still do not fully respect international labor standards, such as the ban on forming unions of self-employed workers or freelancers, defined as “non-workers” by law, according to a report by the Judicial Policy Research Institute. .

The ILO convention on freedom of association states that workers, without any distinction, have the right to form trade unions.

On Tuesday, the Korea Federation of Enterprises (KEF) said it was concerned that issues between workers and management could become a global problem due to ILO conventions and negatively affect South Korean companies while increasing the possibility of trade disputes.

On the other hand, union activists have called for further changes to labor laws to narrow the gap with conventions. (Yonhap)

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